John Balance - vocals and whatever that handheld instrument he plays during "The Gimp (Sometimes)"
Peter Christopherson - sequence
Thighpaulsandra - synthesizers
Tom Edwards - marimba
Cliff Stapleton - hurdy-gurdy
Mike York - Breton bagpipes
Live at the La Loco, Paris, France (May 23, 2004). Coil's first gig on the Even an Evil Fatigue tour, focusing on their Black Antlers material. A favorite of many, including myself. To celebrate the new tour, Coil amassed its three main live collaborators of the past - Tom, Cliff, and Mike - to perform with them here. During later gigs on this tour, Mike is absent.
As far as I know, by this point, John was incoherent on an almost regular basis. If you watch Colour Sound Oblivion DVD #11, you can tell. He is wearing another dress his then lover Ian Johnstone made for him, his eyes are WIDE open throughout, he is very chatty to the audience in between songs, and he slurs a lot of his vocals - total stark contrast to his behavior during the September-October 2002 Live Four-phase tour. It's frankly a miracle this tour even happened...but thank god it did, because it means we have just a little bit more of magical music from one of the top 2 best bands ever (my number 1 is still Joy Division).
The gig's setlist is extremely tight and powerful:
The lyrics to "The Gimp (Sometimes)" were originally used on the exclusive song "Anarcadia / Sometimes," performed at the New Forms III, Theater aan het Spui, Den Haag, NL (June 7, 2002) gig. Coil recorded a studio version bearing the name "The Gimp/Sometimes" and released it on the compilation Hate People Like Us before doing the proper Black Antlers version.
"Sex With Sun Ra" is about the musician of the same name - it seems John had quite the crush on him.
"Broccoli," played during the Live Three-phase, is revived here and given an interesting, dreamy alteration.
"All the Pretty Little Horses" is an Appalachian lullaby, which the band Current 93 (a friend of Coil's) dedicated an entire album to and apparently inspired the band to do a version of their own. John also cites Charlotte Church's version as an inspiration during a later gig.
"Tattooed Man (The Dark Age of Love)" was originally intended for release on Black Antlers, but according to Peter, John was having a hard time matching his words to the music - it would take him a few live versions to get it right (although in my opinion on this version he renders it absolutely perfect, while later versions show him clearly struggling). The backing track on the Coil Reconstruction Kit sounds more like an instrumental studio version than the actual backing track they would use live - I surmise it is. The subtitle is the name of another Coil song, which features Marc Almond on vocals, and it was also a proposed title for the Coil album Love's Secret Domain.
"Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)" is named such because it was originally released on Love's Secret Domain in 1991. It greatly differs from the original versions, as seen on the album.
"The Wraiths and Strays of Paris," less formally known as just "Wraiths and Strays," is actually the same song as "Radio Westin," which Peter and Thighpaulsandra performed during the three gigs in 2003 they did without John. It seems John renamed the song as yet another tribute to Marc Almond. The first edition of Black Antlers included the first version of "Radio Westin" on it, although bearing the name "Wraiths and Strays (from Montreal)". The 2006 Deluxe Edition of the album ousted that version and used this version, bearing the name "The Wraiths and Strays of Paris," although both songs as released on the album include overdubs. The main difference between "Radio Westin" and "Wraiths and Strays" is the inclusion of John's vocals, marimba, hurdy-gurdy, and Breton bagpipes on the latter iteration. The song features an obvious sampling of King of Woolworths' song "Montparnesse," which was initially used without permission.
"Black Antlers (Where's Your Child?)" is a cover of Bam Bam's song "Where's Your Child?" The Black Antlers album version is an instrumental track, but John sings the lyrics, here. The song clocks in at about 12 minutes, here...while the Selvaggina, Go Back Into the Woods version is about 5 minutes. Needless to say, this is the definitive version.
This was one of the relatively few times Coil recorded a multitrack soundboard recording of the show. In fact, the only other time I can think of where they did this is was the Ydrogeios Club, Thessaloniki, GR (October 5, 2002) gig. It's a good thing they did this, because many of studio versions of the songs lacked John's vocals. Vocals recorded here were later used for studio versions of many of the songs. Here's a list (my titles for the songs above reflect how they would appear on official releases):
"Sex With Sun Ra" - Black Antlers, 2006 Deluxe Edition (partial vocals used on "Part Two - Sigillaricia")
"Tattooed Man" - The Ape of Naples
"Teenage Lightning" - The Ape of Naples
"Wraiths and Strays" - Black Antlers, 2006 Deluxe Edition
On Black Antlers, the title track is subtitled Version 1, but no other studio version was ever released. I wished they had used John's vocals here to do a PROPER version...but no.